(First Published at http://amywalkerconsulting.com/blog/ on September 16, 2014)
They want it, they need it, but they just can’t commit! It’s tricky. I get it. We don’t want to lose the sale by giving up too soon. But we don’t want to be strung along missing out on other sales while we do everything in our power to get this person to sign.
The first key to selling to indecisive people is to recognize what type of indecisive person they are.
1. People pleaser: People pleasers want to make everyone happy with them and have a very hard time saying no. Because they are taking you into consideration, they have a hard time getting clear on what they want. You can sell to a people pleaser by manipulation, but DON’T! You will have more cancellations, and dissatisfied clients if you take this route. And both of those are expensive. Instead use verbiage like, “It seems like you are having a hard time deciding. If you take me out of the picture, what would you most want to do? Because even though I would love to have you as a client, I wouldn’t want you to decide to work with me unless it is absolutely what you want.”
2. Co-dependent: Co-dependent people struggle to make decisions on their own. They want someone else’s input. Sometimes that other person really does need to be involved in the decision and sometimes they have no business being involved in the decision. The key to selling to this type of person is to find out who the other person they need to talk to is. The second step is to ask, “Does this person play a role in (your business, your household management, your daily hair styling etc.)?” If they do play a role and should be involved in the decision, simply ask, “Can we get them on the phone or schedule a time when the three of us can meet?” If they are not involved ask the question, “What do you think they will say, and why is it important to you to talk to them first?” Honestly, I could write an entire article on how to close this one, but for the sake of keeping this article from becoming a novel we’ll leave it at that. This will give you some crucial information to get the conversation started.
3. Over Analyzer: This person needs a lot of details! They will want to read everything you have printed, they will want to interview your clients, they will want to scope out your website, and they may want to pull a back ground check on you. To sell to this type of person DO NOT ask them to make a decision before they know what they need to know. You will break rapport. Asking this type of person to act without information is like asking them to jump off a cliff when they don’t know what is at the bottom. Instead, ask the questions, “What do you feel like you need to know in order to feel good about this purchase?” “What other questions can I answer for you?” And “What type of information would you like on this?” They may need to read through information on their own, but whenever possible try to get all of their questions answered during your meeting. Make sure you set a follow up call with a very firm date and time. Set the follow up call for a day or two later. Don’t let them go a week, because during that time they will come up with another question, not have an answer and decide that it isn’t going to work for them.
4. Feeler: Feelers need to feel good about the purchase and no amount of logic or information will replace them having an internal confirmation about what is right to do. These people will need to pray about it, sleep on it, consult their crystals, do muscle testing, or any other host of things that are completely unrelated to your conversation. Believe it or not, I am a feeler. I do get a lot of information and ask questions so I can see the big picture, but when it comes down to it, if I don’t get a good vibe, I will not work with someone. But that is not the kiss of death! Feelers need an internal confirmation, but they can also get that pretty quickly. You just need to ask them questions that will get them looking inside right now. Use phrases like, “I understand and I want you to feel good about this decision too. Can I ask you a question? As we have gone through the information about (my product, service etc) what is your heart telling you? Are you feeling comfortable with me? Do you want a few minutes alone to check in and see if you feel like this is right?”
5. Green Lighters: This group wants the perfect time. They want the stars to align. They want all of the lights to be green before they start out. This is the most challenging group for me to work with. I will have people who really want to coach with me and just need to wait for the right time, and a year later they are saying the same thing and again the next year, same conversation. It’s crazy! Your goal with these people is to help them understand that if they choose not to move forward, they will not receive the benefits they are looking for. I do everything I can to close these people on the spot because I have found they are the least likely to close at a later date. I will ask them questions like, “Why does this feel like the wrong time?” What would need to happen for this to feel like the right time?” If they say something like, “The fall would be better.” Don’t accept that answer! They are just trying to put off making the decision. If they have something concrete like, “I’m having a baby in 3 weeks and it’s not a good time.” You will want to accept that answer, it’s legit!
All of us are indecisive at one point or another. Don’t get frustrated with your clients, just patiently resolve their concerns. They are human and so are you! If you want to attract people who are more ready to make decisions, get clearer in your own decisions. Don’t ask people to do what you are not doing. What brand of indecision shows up for you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Walker is an International Executive Business Coach and CEO/Founder of Amy Walker Consulting. As a Featured Professional Speaker she has shared the stage with some of the top names in the industry including Willie Jolley and Delatorro L. McNeal II. Amy is a Master of Sales and has written sales scripts for billion dollar companies and organizations. She has been regularly featured on television, radio, and print. Amy is passionate about Women in Business, Making Businesses Thrive, and Balancing Business and Family. She is the happily married mother of 5 boys.
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This is so helpful, Amy! In the past I have been so frustrated in the past by the slow pace of moving some clients through the sales cycle to making a decision. I’m going to experiment with your advice this week!